There seems to be some confusion regarding what White Rose rising is about. It may be helpful to first make clear what it is not about.
WHAT WE’RE NOT
White Rose Rising is not a forum for policy debate. There are already a multitude of such forums. There is no need for another one.
White Rose Rising is not an anti-Tory campaign. Again, there are already plenty of places people can go to vent their spleen at Boris Johnson or whoever is up for the Two Minute Hate.
White Rose Rising is not concerned with tactical voting schemes hoping the game Scotland’s voting system in the next Scottish Parliament elections.
White Rose Rising is not a place for hatching or polishing ‘cunning plans’, either for gaming the voting system or for achieving independence by some novel means – usually involving magic.
White Rose Rising is not about creating yet another campaign group or redundant talking-shop.
WHAT WE ARE
White Rose Rising’s objective have been stated as follows.
- To draft a Manifesto for independence
- To have the Manifesto for Independence adopted by the SNP and the Yes movement
- To ensure the election of an SNP administration at the next Scottish Parliament election
- To support the Scottish Government as it takes the bold, decisive action necessary to end the Union and restore Scotland’s independence
It is necessary now to expand on these objective in order that they may be better understood.
MANIFESTO FOR INDEPENDENCE
The purpose of the Manifesto for Independence is to set out in as precise detail as possible a parliamentary strategy that will initiate the process by which Scotland’s independence will be restored. To outline that process laying essential ground-rules. To specify a timescale for achieving each stage in that process.The strategy to be adopted will derive from two essential principles.
- Popular sovereignty – The people of Scotland are sovereign.
- Democratic legitimacy – Only the Scottish Parliament has democratic legitimacy in Scotland.
Both these principles must be asserted, affirmed and upheld by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.
It will then be necessary to ensure that the Manifesto for Independence is adopted by the Scottish National Party; other Scottish political parties; and any individuals or organisation who might have effective political power.
Asserting, affirming and upholding these principles will be regarded by the British state as a denial of the sovereignty of the British parliament and a challenge to the authority of the British government. This is as intended.
The form and manner of the confrontation is open to some debate. But it is likely that it will involve a Scottish Government proposal to establish the Scottish Parliament as having sole and exclusive competence in all matters relating to Scotland’s constitutional status.
Effectively, this amounts to a declaration of independence.
How things proceed subsequently is largely contingent on the response of the British state. It is, however, possible do envisage various scenarios and prepare for them.
The Manifesto for Independence will stipulate that the Scottish Government, having established the primacy of the Scottish Parliament in constitutional matters, shall legislate for a referendum on the question of dissolving the Union. Such referendum to be held within the first half of the parliament following the elections scheduled to be held in May 2021.
White Rose Rising shall promote, encourage and assist in the formation of a spokesperson panel able to represent the entire Yes movement. The practicalities of this are yet to be worked out and any ideas or suggestions will be welcomed.
It is our view that only the Yes movement has the potential to ‘persuade’ the SNP and others to adopt the Manifesto for Independence. This requires that the entire Yes movement speak with one voice. Something that is only possible if that voice is strictly constrained to the one point that is common to all Yes activists and advocates of the restoration of Scotland’s independence – ending the Union.
The practicalities involved in the Yes movement coming together to appoint representatives are daunting. Ideas on how this may best be achieved are urgently sought.
There would be little point in successfully pressuring the SNP and others to adopt the Manifesto for Independence without doing all we can to ensure an SNP majority administration and a pro-independence majority in Holyrood. It is proposed, therefore, that White Rose Rising should develop the means to support SNP candidates in the next Scottish Parliament elections.
Following the election, and assuming the outcome desired, White Rose Rising shall lobby vigorously to ensure that the Scottish Government honours its pledge to the Manifesto for Independence.
Scotland is in jeopardy. This is no overstatement. This is not the place to fully describe the threat. But that threat is real. And it is imminent. The one thing that we can say with certainty about the future is that it is unpredictable. We must therefore treat any opportunity that arises to save Scotland as the last such opportunity.
Clearly, the coming Scottish Parliament elections represent just such an opportunity. But only if we break the inertia which has gripped the independence campaign for the past five years. That is the reason for White Rose Rising. We know of no other group or organisation which is proposing a similar programme.
White Rose Rising will welcome and work with anyone who recognises the necessity and urgency of what we hope to achieve.